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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bram Weijters/Chad McCullough: Pendulum

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Chicago-based trumpeter Chad McCullough and Belgian pianist Bram Weijters present Pendulum, the pair's fifth recording together. Their discography includes three excellent quartet outings on Origin Records, including Urban Nightingale (2012), and a duo date, Feather (eyes&ears, 2017). Pendulum follows in Feathers' footsteps to the extent of instrumentation, with Weijters wielding an array of keyboards (Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Moog) to expand the sound possibilities; but it strays from the path with a more pre-conceived concept. The previous Weijers/McCullough recordings can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jasna Jovicevic Sextet: Flow Vertical

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Serbian multi-instrumentalist Jasna Jovicevic seeks to bridge the worlds of chamber jazz and free improvisation on her latest release, Flow Vertical. But she's not content to stop there, as the album is animated by a heady concept drawing on Jovicevic's background in yoga to create music that is, as she puts it, “divided according to psychic centers in the human body." To be sure, the ambitious music on hand delves into a variety of emotional and stylistic registers, and much ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Dease: Bonafide

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Trombonist Michael Dease was born in Augusta, Georgia. His propensity for the arts landed him at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School, where he studied saxophone, voice and trumpet. During his senior year, after sage advice from another Augusta, Georgia jazz mainstay, Wycliffe Gordon, Dease pointed his ambition towards the trombone, what would ultimately become his primary instrument. Dease furthered his studies at Juilliard School where he earned his bachelor and master degrees. His continued journey includes several ...

RADIO

Jonathan Finlayson, Master Oogway & More

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These days touring is maybe the most critical aspect of a jazz musician's ability to not only promote one's music but also to survive financially. Toronto drummer Ethan Ardelli is proof of that pudding. He's taken his fine quartet and hit the road across Canada for the month of November--23 events from coast to coast--and will be promoting his debut album The Island of Form. It's a feature of this episode of One Man's Jazz. You'll also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride: Christian McBride's New Jawn

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It's true that six-time Grammy winner Christian McBride hasn't been the new thing on the scene for some time now. Yet the gritty Christian McBride's New Jawn pops from the get-go with a zesty, youthful intensity and infectious enthusiasm. making his lifelong inquiry into jazz past, present and future a pure joy to listen to. On his first release for his Brother Mister Productions, a new imprint from his longtime label Mack Avenue Records, McBride turns away from ...

RADIO

Ahn-definable: the Eclectic Artistry of the Ahn Trio

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An eclectic trio whose restless musical curiosity is second only to their virtuosity, the Ahn Trio revel in breaking the rigid boundaries of the classical world. The Juilliard-trained sisters (Lucia, piano; Angella, violin; Maria, cello) have a rock-star attitude matched by a compelling sound that is immediately recognizable no matter whether they are interpreting the music that Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman or Kenji Bunch composed for them, or finding new angles in masters like Ravel and Shostakovich. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Dease: Bonafide

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Listening critically to recently produced mainstream-jazz recordings often feels like prospecting for gold amidst the dross of familiar templates, all-too-common stylistic references, and unremarkable performances. However, occasionally, even when a record doesn't hang together particularly well and is likely to disappear under the weight of scores of similar sounding releases, diligence is rewarded by a track that stands out and demands to be taken seriously. “Pearls" is the piece de resistance of trombonist/composer Michael Dease's Bonafide, an ...

INTERVIEWS

Rain Sultanov: Putting Baku On The Jazz Map

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The Baku Jazz Festival has been a labor of love for its founder and Artistic Director, Rain Sultanov. And, like most love stories, there have been a few bumps along the road. Thirteen editions in, however, the Baku Jazz Festival is well established as one of the highpoints of Azerbaijan's annual cultural calendar. It mightn't draw the crowds or the sponsors of the Baku Formula 1 Grand Prix, but the Baku Jazz Festival is driven by something other than the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Allen: The Sky Above Her

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Guitarist Dave Allen's satiny-smooth tone and precise technique belie an intrepid sensibility that is eager to rise to the surface. So unsuspecting listeners who cue up the title track of The Sky Above Her, Allen's third album as a leader, might at first be tricked into thinking they'll be listening to something easy on the ears, as the track possesses an ingratiating, comfortable feel; Allen's melodicism definitely contributes to that impression. But by the album's second cut, Allen's adventurous side ...

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